Wanna Ride Bikes?
Been riding bikes for most of my life, like many of you. I remember my first bike almost like it was yesterday; a screaming red Schwinn Stingray with banana seat and ape hanger bars. Or, at least I thought they were since I was 5. Learned to ride that thing like a boss too. Imagine how upset I was when I let it get stolen. It was soon replaced with a screaming yellow version of the same bike. And I rode that thing like a boss too. Forever. No kidding, like my car, I had that bike forever and rode it everywhere. It’s where I started with bikes. This might sound familiar if you’ve been a donburnside.com reader for more than a few years.
Fast forward to this last weekend. The Burnside Manor played host to the ‘rents as they needed to visit to deliver a few things. Namely some really kickass (potentially) wine. And, the beauty you see above.
I haven’t fully researched the bike yet, but I do know it is a Colson Tandem, built sometime in the 40’s. Most of it, from what I can tell, is original, like the seats and fenders, the frame and the wheels. Again, I only think. It’s got an internal front brake, coaster brakes and a 3 speed that mostly works. It was delivered with rotten tires and tubes, quickly replaced day of delivery so I could get out and ride it.
I remember when this bike first came into my life. It was at Newport Beach. Grand dad picked her up and made it part of the beach house bike stable. There were always very unique bikes in that collection. This one quickly became a favorite. Not because you could ride it with another person, which is cool to be sure. It’s that you can ride it by yourself.
From the rear seat.
Yea, this particular tandem bicycle allows for 2 person steering. Since both riders can steer, 1 can drive from the back without a front seat passenger. Took it for a ride around the hood last night and got some interesting looks, since I was riding from the back. Don’t worry, I’ll get video soon enough.
It’s a cruiser to be sure. This is not what you would consider a speedy bike. It rides so low that if you turn too sharp, the pedals will scrape the ground. But, high speed turns with big leans aren’t what this bike it about. It’s about the ride, baby. She is comfortable to ride and a joy to pedal. With as much weight as she carries, once you get moving the momentum just keeps it going, smooth and comfortable over the bumps.
This is my next project. Getting it cleaned up and tuned up. Like I mentioned, she is rideable now. After a few minor things, she’ll be ready for anything.
New in the Kitchen
I’ve never been one for kitchen gadgets that one would include in a category called “As Seen on TV”. Give me a good knife or 3, a nice set of pans and your typical set of tools and I’m a happy guy. Nice and simple, nice and easy. I prefer my time in the kitchen actually, you know, cooking, not messing around with gadgets.
Until I came across this. We had professional versions when I worked in restaurants that cost 100’s of dollars. The fancy kitchen stores sell this for $60 – $75. This image of pure white and danger has become mine for the princely sum of $15 from Amazon.com. And I like it.
I say danger because this thing is covered in sharp edges. The plastic holder is covered in rose bush like thorns. The stainless steel blades are practically begging to chew flesh. This is the most danger than you can have for such a small amount of money.
And I like it.
Did my first run today after opening it and washing it. As you can see above, it made interesting work out of an apple with the thin ribbon blade. I ate the apple, but it would have been a good cut to carmelize them in a pan to use as a topping for grilled pork.
My second run was more typical. A red potato, a yellow squash and a carrot with the larger sized ribbon cutting blade. It did what it says on the tin, making quick work of the vegetables, creating curly fry style cuts. I have to say I’m impressed so far.
Next up with be to try the slicing blade. With the ribbon blade and carrots, you need monster carrots for it to work as expected. I think with the slicing blade I will get good results with them and apples, or anything really.
So yea. I have a unitasker in my kitchen. And I’m ok with that.
Open for Business
My name is Don Burnside. You might know me as ‘db’ from other sites like dbmini or White Roof Radio. That’s MINI Cooper stuff for those of you that might be new. And sure, those sites are awesome, but we don’t really do cars here at donburnside.com.
Here we do technology. Here we do photography. Here we do food. Or, at least we used to. You can go back through the archives to find WordPress tips, rants about things, my experiences with mobile technology and all of my recipes. It’s all there, going all the way back to November, 2003.
For 2015, we are going to get back on track. Back to using this site to tweak and play with WordPress and theme development. Back to talking about food, photography, technology and, one of your favorites, rants.
Watch for changes and more frequent updates coming in the following days. We are pretty excited to get back in the saddle!
Use What You Make
One of my current passions is hating my day job. It’s life sucking and dead end. I only tell you this for reference for the remainder of the post. I’m seeking help, don’t worry.
One of the reasons is a product that the company I work for sells, and one that I have to support. And, the pieces that tie into or make that product work that we also sell. And it’s all rubbish.
It’s geared at retail operations. Actual brick and mortar stores with cash registers and all that goes along with that. But there is a very serious disconnect between the company that I work for and it’s customers.
Nobody in the company that I work for has ever worked retail. Also, no one in the company that I work for or any of the company that I work for’s partners have had to use the product that we sell.
You see gang, in the land of POS, It Just Works isn’t just a saying. It’s one of those things that has to be true 99.5% of the time. Retail and hospitality rely heavily on the point of sales systems that are installed in their business’s to collect money, track sales and costs, historical data for projections and scheduling and many other business critical operations. It’s important stuff, usually extraordinarily time sensitive as well. Which is why It Just Works has to be true, 99.5% of the time.
The system that the company I work for does not meet this criteria. It fails, spectacularly. And when it does fail, fixes take hours of manual correction or days/weeks/months of correction by development.
I’m convinced that it is because the company that I work for employs people that don’t have any industry experience. I believe the vendors and partners that the company I work for has, also, suffers the same fate. And, once the product is created, no one that took part in it’s creation has to use it, ever, or even support it on the front lines.
The short version is, if you are going to take the time to make something, be sure to take the time to use the thing you made, talk to your intended users to find out how they plan to use what you have made. Then, try to use it the way they are. Helpful too if you have some background in the area for which your creation will be used. If not, surround yourself with those who not only have experience in that area, but have passion for that area as well.
And I Only Used an iPhone
Just finished an epic road trip for the show as most of you already know. But we aren’t talking about that here. At least, not directly. For this kind of an event, I’m usually loaded to the hilt with gear to capture as many moments of the event that I can. Cameras, computers, cables and memory cards, all loaded into my giant Swiss Army backpack.
This time was no different. I had my Panasonic point and shoot (sold the Nikon, that’s a story for another day), my iPad, iPhone 5s, GoPro camera and my MacBook Air.
And I only used my iPhone.
That’s not entirely true. I did take a few photos with the Panasonic on the first day. On the 3rd day, I used the GoPro until the battery died and I realized I did not have a charging cable. Every photo, every video that I captured during the event was with my iPhone. (Read on…)